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Adult lifetime prevalence of firesetting behaviors in a state hospital population
Systems and Psychosocial Advances Research Center Publications and Presentations
  • Jeffrey L. Geller, University of Massachusetts Medical School
  • William H. Fisher, University of Massachusetts Medical School
  • Kate Moynihan, Duke University
UMMS Affiliation
Department of Psychiatry
Publication Date
Document Type
Adult; Aged; Cognitive Therapy; Female; Firesetting Behavior; Hospitalization; Hospitals, State; Humans; Male; Mental Disorders; Middle Aged; Patient Admission; Psychiatric Status Rating Scales; Self-Injurious Behavior

Hospital records of all patients under age 65 years old on the census of Worcester State Hospital (WSH) on October 25, 1988 (n = 279) were reviewed for indications of firesetting behaviors during the individuals' adult lifetime. The prevalence of firesetting behaviors was found to be 27.2%. The prevalence of firesetting episodes, a subset of firesetting behaviors, was found to be 17.6%. A stepwise discriminant function analysis was used to determine whether any factors significantly differentiated the members of the firesetting behavior group from the remainder of the population. This analysis revealed that the number of WSH admissions, the number of admissions to other inpatient facilities, and a history of injurious behavior to self are significant positive predictors of membership in the firesetting behaviors group. The results of the WSH analysis are very similar to those found at Northampton State Hospital in 1983. These high prevalence rates have implication for treatment, education, record keeping, and liability.

Psychiatr Q. 1992 Summer;63(2):129-42.
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Link to Article in PubMed
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Citation Information
Jeffrey L. Geller, William H. Fisher and Kate Moynihan. "Adult lifetime prevalence of firesetting behaviors in a state hospital population" Vol. 63 Iss. 2 (1992) ISSN: 0033-2720 (Linking)
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